Behind every organized person is a messy, messy closet.
As the summer approached its end I started getting anxious about all the PTA duties that lay before me as the new PTA co-president for my kids’ school. It was mostly The Great Unknown of it – how would this go down? What was I supposed to do, exactly? I was prepared to spend a lot of time at school, talking about school, thinking about school. I even dreamed about it, and woke up not just once in the middle of the night worrying about it.
Because that’s what I do. I worry, and I’m too hard on myself, and then I get all hard on myself for being too hard on myself.
And I know. This is a volunteer position. I asked for it. I’m not complaining. Things are falling into place and every day I get a dose of perspective that reminds me: the school will be fine even if I mess up. My number one job is to be there for my own children. Balance, healthy doses of perspective. That’s been helpful.
However, I didn’t expect the new offers of work that have come along in just the last two weeks. A sponsored post here and there is one thing. But some greater creative challenges, one that actually requires me to leave the house and juggle meetings and parenting, have come along, and I couldn’t say no. The money is sorely needed, and frankly, I enjoy the work. My clients are great and aware of my family setup. It’s a win-win.
A consequence of this new busy-ness is the neglect of my household, the thing that anchors me, the touchstone of home organization and control. If the kitchen is clean, if the bed is made, my mind starts off the day clear and ready. If I know what I’m making (or heating up) for dinner, I feel calm about the evening ahead.
I further appreciate the off-site work I’m doing because I get to do it in an organized, cool, dark room, with all of my focus on the screens in front of me. I can pretend my chaotic home doesn’t bother me. But when I come back to my house, and I sit surrounded by clutter, frantically trying to “make good art” on a deadline, the two sides of my personality collide. I sweep the papers into a pile and shove them in the closet.
I’ve been shoving for several days now. And just now, just a few minutes ago, the closet shoved back.
Something fell in there with a muffled harrumph, and made the door open behind me. I turned around. It was like the mess was calling to me. Mad that I let it get so bad.
I’m airing my dirty laundry here because I just made a mental pact with myself – and the poltergeist closet – to organize this space once and for all before September 24. During my little 5-minute work breaks today I’ve been surfing Pinterest for closet organization ideas and I’m very inspired, if a little intimidated. I won’t have time to deal with it until after all these work projects are done. But at least the closet has made its point, which is “If you organize me, you will feel much better, and you can enjoy being busy much more.”